World Food Day 2017: Change the future of migration. Invest in food security and rural development
IITA is Africa’s leading research partner and has been transforming African agriculture for the past 50 years. Through continuous, innovative research, IITA has tackled the issues of agricultural development, food security, and poverty eradication as well as providing nutritious food crops for the tropics. World Food Day is an important event for IITA because its vision and mission align with the focus of World Food Day for 2017 “to change the future of migration and invest in food security and rural development”.
World Food Day is a unique day to increase awareness of all active players in the fight against hunger and malnutrition and emphasize the need to achieve our collective goals of preventing micronutrient deficiency (hidden hunger), which affects over 25% of the global population and leads to irreversible health defects and socioeconomic losses.
Biofortification is a potent tool to achieve nutritional balance and food security in Africa and IITA’s efforts on enhancing nutritional quality of food products along the crop value chains and breeding for more nutritious food is worthy of note. Women and children are particularly vulnerable to micronutrient deficiencies and do not have enough Vitamin A, iron, and zinc needed to maintain a healthy diet.
IITA has sought to harness the potential of young people who have migrated to the urban centers to be effectively engaged in agriculture through disseminating research outputs that promote commercialization of agricultural products, stimulate private-public partnerships, and encourage mechanized farming. Part of these efforts include the youth in agribusiness initiative which is yielding significant results.
Happy World Food Day as we look forward to a world where “hidden hunger is totally eradiated”.